A Matter of Trust – a timely practical guide to ethical finance
An ethical finance sector is crucial. This week we launched A Matter of Trust: The Practice of Ethics in Finance by Professor Paul Kofman and Clare Payne.
We are on the cusp of the next technological disruption, the brink of a fourth industrial revolution. It's bringing us block-chain, mobile payment devices, and robot advice, all making the practice of ethics in finance more crucial.
On Tuesday we launched A Matter of Trust: The Practice of Ethics in Finance by Professor Paul Kofman and Clare Payne at the University of Melbourne.
A particularly timely book, A Matter of Trust makes the argument for why an ethical finance sector is crucial. As Professor Paul Kofman said at the launch, "failure to uphold ethical standards in a trading division of an investment bank affects the entire sector. It’s everyone’s problem and that requires a shift in taking responsibility to repair trust."
"Yet, their proposed reform recommendations often got caught in party politics or legal loopholes," said Professor Paul Kofman. He said there is a duty on "engaged academics, to explain the role and inner workings of the financial system to the public."
ASIC Commissioner John Price was one of the keynote speakers at the launch and gave a speech on trust in the financial infrastructure, an environment currently being revolutionised by digital disruption and new technologies.
He said: "I believe this means that the financial industry needs to look at its broader value proposition ... they need to ensure that the service they are delivering is mindful that it relates to other people's money and that ethical standards within industry supports that fact."
"As ASIC’s new Chair James Shipton said at our annual conference on Maintaining Trust just last week: ‘Trust is a fitting topic for the financial sector right now – both domestically and globally’."
As the book notes, trust is intangible. There is nothing you can point to and say – ‘look, there is trust’.
Professor Paul Kofman said "when the system is under threat – as it has been in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis – it is our duty to scrutinize its failings and reconnect the public to the long-term benefits of a fair and transparent financial system to economic growth and prosperity. That requires a realisation that finance serves society, rather than just its customers and shareholders. And that involves translating heightened community expectations into ethical business practices that work for our financial sector."